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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2958

Title: The Use of Metaphor in Art Making for Acceptance and Change with People who Experience Chronic Pain
Authors: Braun, Rachel M
Keywords: Art Therapy;Metaphor;Pain;Change;Acceptance
Issue Date: 5-Feb-2009
Abstract: This study was designed to explore the use of metaphor in art making in order to investigate the concepts of acceptance and change with people who experience chronic pain. The primary question for this qualitative collective case study was: How does the use of metaphor in art making help people with chronic pain express the experience of acceptance and change? The research utilized a qualitative collective case study design to collect and analyze the data obtained through: responses to the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire and the Pain Stages of Change Questionnaire; the creation of two art tasks, the first being “Draw a picture of yourself in a storm” and the second “Draw a picture of a bridge going from one place to another place”; an open-ended responsive interview; and a validation interview. Medical records were obtained for additional sources of data that included: diagnosis, treatment, duration of pain condition, and demographic information. The results of this study suggested that although each participant’s experience of exploring metaphor in art making was unique, there was some overlap in meaning, and common themes emerged. It appeared that the use of metaphor in art making can help people who experience chronic pain express the concepts of acceptance and change in the following manner: 1) by introducing an opportunity for the openness to, or avoidance of a situation, including the art making experience; 2) by providing a safe distance with which to face a challenging situation; 3) through the metaphoric objectification of a situation, allowing for assessment, clarity and wise decision-making; 4) by providing the means for communication about the degree to which security and protection are implemented in their lives; 5) by providing a way to explore personal and professional relationships; 6) by providing a way to reflect the influence of past experiences on present and future situations; and 7) through the discovery of a non-linear, meaningful and relaxing mode of expression. Although further research is required, this study seems to suggest that the use of metaphor in art making elicits a wealth of information regarding the concepts of acceptance and change with people who experience chronic pain, and may not only prove to be an affordable and beneficial brief art therapy treatment, but also a clinical evaluative instrument with which to assess treatment goals.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2958
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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